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Global Learning

→ Current Project:

ABLE Senegal - An African hub for Sustainabiliy

Mutual Learning, rather than traditional charity

This project emerged in 2013, when Fredrik Bengtsson had been travelling extensively in Senegal. Working with Sustainable Health and Workplaces as a psychologist in Sweden and Europe, he was intrigued by the Senegalese psychological wellbeing, even when they didn't possess anything and their very nice and friendly, extremely open and tolerant attitude towards different religions. However, he was also deeply concerned, when he noticed that locals have started to abandon their healthy habits and attitudes towards life and nature as a consequence of globalisation and the development towards a western lifestyle.

Due to the global development, on the one hand, it is indispensable for our western societies to share our lessons learned and our knowledge, on how to develop in a sustainable fashion and reduce negative impact, while enjoying rapid growth of economy and population at the same time. On the other hand, psychological illnesses, such as burnouts and depression have reached alarming rates in our western societies, where we in turn are in desperate need of help to get out of and to restore sustainable psychological health and wellbeing.

What is the secret ingredient to live well, stress less and stay psychologically healthy, regardless of external factors and how can burnouts and depression be prevented?

Thus, originated the idea of not turning this into another charity and to rather change the design to an interaction between the western and the emerging countries as a voluntary exchange of mutually beneficial gains from joint commitment, in short, what we call:

Recyclable Energy

When it comes to sustainability, West Africa is of high importance, as it has suffered from wars, epidemics and poverty for decades. In this part of the world, however, Senegal is an important exception in a positive way having been a stable democracy at peace since its independence from France in 1960. It is also a role model, being a country with a great muslim majority, yet, open and tolerant towards diversity and other religions. In addition, its people are open to influence from the West in attitudes, lifestyle and not least in the view of women being equal to men. Unlike many other muslim countries, Senegal has not developed any terror movements, which would have made the country a target for extremists. The Senegalese people show that peace is possible and that tolerance and inclusion are key.

There is currently a broad political support to make Senegal the pilot for the vision of inspiring the other West African countries and Africa at large to become part of this global movement, combining financial growth with the implementation of the UN Sustainability Goals.

Due to the high poverty rate, however, large numbers of young people still emigrate to find better prospects in life. hence, there is a great need to help Senegal with its development into a well-functioning welfare state, where young people find work and actively participate in building up their country instead of leaving it behind.

The project aims at establishing a hub, a local community, supported by Scandinavian investors in collaboration with global institutions. This enables western know-how to assist the African continent in its growth according to a sustainable framework and the Scandinavian countries to receive the missing puzzle pieces for wellbeing in return.

ABLE Lounge Senegal will offer retreats of another kind: Travels with a purpose.

People from the western world will travel to Senegal, with summer climate all year around, moderate flight hours and no time difference. For western countries it will open up new possibilities regarding target markets, travel destinations and retreats of a completely different nature.

Senegal will be the first country in Africa with an ABLE Lounge at Point Sarene attracting locals, businesses and international tourists to gather and co-create sustainable growth together. In addition to a unique travel destination, tourists will receive inspiration, tools and guidance to holistic wellbeing and be ABLE to simultaneously share knowledge and expertise from their fields to support a sustainable development in the community.

It will be an enticing place for individuals, as well as for businesses to hold their meetings and conferences and support the community with knowledge, financial means or handicraft. A highly value and purpose driven venue, with an ecologically friendly community to showcase construction methods, renewable energy, recycling systems, etc., by Scandinacian businesses, which are interested in investing and entering new markets for their products and services in the region.

The Senegalese government is open to support the project and the establishment of a whole African ABLE hub. There is huge potential to create great opportunities with Senegal as a nation, if we can accompany them and jointly work towards the implementation of the UN's SDGs.

Together we are ABLE

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